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Vaccine. 2001 Oct 12;20(1-2):235-41.

Antibodies to BrkA augment killing of Bordetella pertussis.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, #300-6174 University Boulevard, BC, V6T 1Z3, Vancouver, Canada.


BrkA is a Bvg-regulated Bordetella pertussis protein that mediates serum resistance and adherence. It shares sequence identity with another B. pertussis virulence factor called pertactin, and it is a member of the diverse group of proteins found in Gram-negative bacteria that are secreted by an autotransporter mechanism. Sera, either from individuals who have been vaccinated with acellular pertussis vaccines, or from individuals who have no re-collection of recent infection with B. pertussis fail to kill wild-type B. pertussis, but kill brkA mutant strains very well. We examined whether BrkA could be neutralised in serum fitting this profile. BrkA is synthesised as a 103kDa precursor that is processed into a surface-associated N-terminal 73kDa passenger domain, and an outer-membrane embedded C-terminal 30kDa transporter moiety. Polyclonal antibodies were raised to a recombinant, re-folded histidine-tagged fusion protein representing the 73kDa passenger region. These anti-BrkA antibodies were shown to boost the existing bactericidal capacity of human serum against B. pertussis by neutralising BrkA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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